Leading Question: Is a “Christian commune” a good thing, or is it an oxymoron?
Scripture Focus: Genesis 12:1-3; John 20:21-22; Matthew 28:16-20; Revelation 14:6-7
The Big Idea: God’s blessing is to be shared with the world. A disciple is called to make disciples.
- In Genesis 12:1-3, God calls Abram and describes his plan to bless Abram and his descendants. The reason for this blessing is clearly stated. God blesses Abram’s family so that “all the families of the earth will be blessed through you.” In what ways does understanding God’s purpose both guide our mission efforts and also protect us from becoming conceited as “God’s chosen people”?
- In John 20:21-22, Jesus tells his disciples that he is sending them out into the world as the Father had sent him. Then, Jesus breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.” The Adult Sabbath School lesson points out that mission “is not ours. It belongs to the triune God. As such, it will not fail.” Do you agree with this statement? Is there such a thing as “failure” in mission?
- Matthew 28:16-20 (often called the “Great Commission”) is probably the best known “mission” passage in the New Testament. Reading this passage carefully will allow you to better answer the following questions.
- Why do you think some of the disciples doubted when they saw Jesus, even after all the miracles they had witnessed? Is it possible to worship and doubt at the same time? How much faith must someone have—how settled and knowledgeable must they be—before they can go into the world and make disciples? Does doubt disqualify us as missionaries?
- Jesus says that the basis of his sending rests on the fact that all power and authority has been given to him. How does this change our attitude as we go out into the world?
- The Great Commission begins with the call to “go”. Does this apply to all followers of Jesus, or to a select group who are specifically chosen for mission? Does “go” mean to leave for a foreign country?
- The Sabbath School lesson points out that “the only action verb with imperative force in the Great Commission is ‘make disciples’.” How do making disciples, teaching, and baptizing fit together? Are these sequential?
- Jesus says “teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you.” What is the difference between teaching people so they will know and teaching people to obey? Jesus says we are to teach people to obey “everything I have commanded you.” What commands did Jesus give his disciples? How would our missionary message change if we limited ourselves to sharing the commands of Jesus?
- Jesus ends with a promise, “And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Many people want to feel the presence of Jesus. Is it possible that we are most likely to sense his presence when we are obeying his commission?